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Top 10 Overrated Footballers in the 2010s

Football Player
Photo by Jonathan Ward on Unsplash

The 2010s saw an abundance of talent grace the pitches of the world, but not every player lived up to the hype surrounding them. Here, we delve into the top 10 overrated footballers of the past decade, players who garnered excessive praise despite failing to consistently deliver on the pitch.

10. Renato Sanches:

Renato Sanches, once an electrifying prospect for Portugal and a Golden Boy recipient, is now number ten on our list. He burst onto the scene with Benfica and shined brightly at Euro 2016, earning a prestigious move to Bayern Munich. But his career has since faltered, with uneven spells at Lille, PSG, and now AS Roma, and a notable absence from the Portuguese national team, marking a significant decline from his early promise.

9. Hector Bellerin:

Hector Bellerin, whose career began at Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy and flourished at Arsenal, ranks ninth. Once heralded as a future defensive stalwart, his trajectory took a downturn following a major knee injury. Despite a return to his birthplace with Real Betis, his value plummeted, reminding fans and players alike of the brutal unpredictability of soccer careers.

8. Krzysztof Piatek:

The eighth position is occupied by Krzysztof Piatek, a player who once seemed poised to follow in Robert Lewandowski’s footsteps. His initial surge at Genoa led to a high-profile move to AC Milan, but subsequent transfers, including a stint in the Turkish league, have since underscored the fleeting nature of his scoring form, aligning him more with competent strikers than the stars.

7. Luka Jovic:

Luka Jovic, the Serbian striker whose rise and subsequent fall with Real Madrid encapsulate the volatility of footballing fame, claims the seventh spot. His stint at Eintracht Frankfurt showed immense promise, but his inability to replicate the same for Los Blancos turned his high-profile move into a cautionary tale of unmet expectations.

6. Arthur Melo:

Arthur Melo, hailed as a midfield maestro in the making, takes the sixth place. His transition from Gremio to Barcelona and then to Juventus reflected a potential unfulfilled, and his attempts to regain form elsewhere, including Liverpool, have thus far failed to restore his once burgeoning reputation.

5. Nicolas Pepe:

Fifth on our list is Nicolas Pepe, whose move to Arsenal stands as a stark testament to the discrepancy between potential and performance. The Ivorian’s failure to justify his record transfer fee is a storied part of Arsenal’s recent history, fuelling discussion on transfer strategies and the pressures that come with high expectations.

4. Alessio Romagnoli:

At number four, we have Alessio Romagnoli, a central defender once considered the future cornerstone of AC Milan’s defense. After earning the Golden Boy nomination in 2015, he established himself as a reliable and promising center-back in Serie A, drawing the attention of clubs like Chelsea, which were ready to offer a tantalizing transfer fee. However, Romagnoli struggled to reach the formidable level of Italian legends like Baresi, Nesta, and Chiellini. Frequent injuries and his omission from the victorious Euro 2020 Italy squad further diminished his value. By 2022, at the age of 27, without a new contract offer from Milan, Romagnoli’s journey reflects the unpredictability of football and the harsh reality of not living up to high expectations.

3. Dele Alli and Philippe Coutinho:

Although details were not provided within this execution, the mention of “not repeating the stories of Alli and Coutinho” suggests they occupy the second spot on our list. Both players demonstrated exceptional talent and potential, with Alli bursting onto the scene at Tottenham and Coutinho becoming a pivotal playmaker at Liverpool. However, their careers took unexpected turns, with Coutinho struggling after a high-profile transfer to Barcelona and Alli’s form dipping, leading to their perceived overrated status and inclusion on this list.

2. Xherdan Shaqiri:

Xherdan Shaqiri, the Swiss maestro adorned with skills and accolades, ranks third. An alumnus of FC Basel’s academy, Shaqiri was a prodigy who caught Bayern Munich’s eye. Despite showing flashes of brilliance and scoring the 50th hat-trick in World Cup history, injuries plagued his potential. His time at Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Stoke City, and Liverpool, highlighted by a spectacular bicycle-kick goal at Euro 2016, defined an erratic climb filled with unfulfilled promise. Ultimately, Shaqiri faced the stark admission of being an overrated talent within Europe’s top leagues as he parted ways with Lyon after just three months.

1. Anthony Martial:

The top spot is reserved for Anthony Martial, whose transfer saga encapsulates the essence of this list. Tagged as a future star by Louis van Gaal at Manchester United, his record transfer fee from Monaco raised eyebrows and expectations. Initially, he seemed to justify the investment with impactful performances and accolades, including the Golden Boy nomination. However, as Jose Mourinho replaced Van Gaal, Martial’s fortunes faltered. Despite a brief resurgence, his progress stalled, exemplified by an underwhelming loan spell at Sevilla. An anticipated candidate for the Ballon d’Or, Martial never even made an extended shortlist. Today, with his career failing to ignite, he stands as the epitome of an overhyped and overrated player in modern football history.